Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) has lent its “solidarity and support” to the Dublin City University (DCU) students protesting up to 27% increases in student accommodation rental costs, in a letter published on the SU’s Facebook page.
The open letter follows a protest at Shanowen Square, a purpose-built student accommodation complex adjacent to the DCU Glasnevin campus, yesterday.
“Accommodation is a basic human right,” the letter reads. Safe, comfortable, affordable housing is an absolute necessity for all. Students across the country have been taken advantage of for too long by massive corporate housing companies, propped up by our universities and our government.”
“We have been seen as a soft target, as a group that will roll over and pay whatever is asked of us. Enough is enough.”
“The actions of DCUSU will ring out across the country, as part of a larger movement to regain control of our educations. The students of Trinity stand united in rejection of all unjust charges, all regressive fees, and all policies that are detrimental to students,” it continues.
The letter is signed by TCDSU sabbatical officers Kevin Keane, Alice MacPherson, Damien McClean, Una Harty and Jonah Craig, on behalf of the students of Trinity. It ends “We stand with you. We support you. We share your struggle,” with the hashtags #ShanowenShakedown and #TakeBackTrinity.
In response, DCUSU thanked the SU “for engaging in this issue and supporting us and all students in Ireland”.
“#TakeBackTrinity has started a successful movement and we are delighted to have you by our side. €9,000 for 9 months will not be tolerated, in DCU or in any higher education institution in Ireland,” the SU said.
DCU students have learned that Shanowen Square will be increasing their rent for next year by 27%, which prompted yesterday’s protest. Students can stay in the accommodation complex for eight months, from September 10 to May 25, meaning the cost of rent for the full academic year will increase by €1,850, to €8,695.
In addition, Shanowen Halls have increased their rental price, by just over 23.5%. Both accommodation complexes also require a €400 non-refundable deposit.
Led by DCUSU President Niall Behan, some brought sleeping bags to the protest, while others held signs and banners stating “Housing is a Human Right,” “We’re Not Cash Cows” and “Stop Pricing Students Out of College”. Several Trinity students were in attendance to lend support.
Earlier today, President of DCU Brian MacCraith condemned a rise in rental costs for students. He stated that a “family income-based barrier” will develop due to skyrocketing costs, with the result that some students will be unable to afford third level education.